Qatar are waiting in anticipation as Syria take on Iraq in the last match of the International Friendship Championship in Basra today. Syria face an uphill task as they have to win by a 2-0 margin at least to top the standings on goal difference and beat Qatar to the title.
Qatar, who have four points from two matches, have scored five goals and conceded four, while Syria have scored two and conceded as many. Iraq, who lost to Qatar 3-2 in the opening match, are out of title contention.
A festive atmosphere is expected at the Basra International Stadium which has seen crowds exceeding 60,000 for the match between Qatar and Iraq.
A big delegation from Qatar will be present in Basra today in anticipation of the title victory. Qatari players Akram Afif and Bassem al-Rawi are also in contention for the best player award.
Meanwhile, Ali Jabbar, the deputy chief of the Iraq Football Association, has praised Qatar for its efforts in getting the FIFA ban on Iraq lifted. “We have not forgotten how hard Qatar worked to get the ban lifted,” Jabbar told the media.
“We received limitless support from Qatar in not only getting the ban lifted but also organising this tournament. We thank our Qatari brothers for their continued support. Qatar Football Association President was kind to visit Iraq twice as part of his efforts.”
Jabbar also thanked the Iraqi public for supporting the International Friendship Championship. “The public are the real stars of the tournament. They are very mature and knowledgeable about the game.”
Jabbar was confident Iraqis will turn out in large numbers for the match against Syria even though Iraq have no chance of winning the title. “Iraqis simply love football. It’s in their blood and I am sure they will be present in large numbers to cheer their team.’
Qatar, who have four points from two matches, have scored five goals and conceded four, while Syria have scored two and conceded as many.